Quickie Questions - Other Solar System Stuff - Saturn and Its Moons

Date Answered Questioner (age, location) Question Answer

October 27, 2009amy (age 9, england) why does saturn have rings around it? Saturn's rings are made mostly of ice and rock pieces. It looks like one big band, but is actually many smaller bands combined. The particles range in size from a couple centimeters to over a kilometer in size. Much more information at our web page Saturn's Rings.
September 14, 2009lucia (age 11, california) how does saturn get its color The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance.
August 21, 2009David (age 13, Australia) What would you need to survive on Saturn? For beginners oxygen and water and a solid surface to stand on!
August 20, 2009Wity (age 13, California) What is the pressure in Saturn? Saturn's atmospheric pressure = 1.4 bars or 140 000 newton per square meter.
August 19, 2009Devin (age 12, USA) who decoverd thryms or saturns smallest planet Saturn's smallest moon is Methone, with 3 km of diameter. It wads discovered pn 2004by C.C. Porco and other scientists of the Cassini Mission.
August 13, 2009Corin (age 12, North Carolina) I would like to know what is Saturn's Compostion Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets.
July 30, 2009Kendell (age 12, Georgia) what are the layers of Saturn's atmosphere (in order please)? The atmosphere of Saturn, like Jupiter, is only a narrow surface layer, compared to the vast interior of Saturn. The three clouddecks of Saturn are to be found mostly low in the troposphere, while hazes of smog can be found higher in the atmosphere. More information in our web page Saturn.
May 19, 2009gianna (age 10, usa) What different features are on Saturn? This is for a project and I need an answer!!!!!! Our web page Saturn offers tons of info on this planet.
May 18, 2009Mike (age , ) Right now, April-May 2009, Saturn is the only planet visible in the evening sky. By the end of twilight, Saturn is high in the southeast under the eastern part of the constellation of Leo. More information here.
April 14, 2009bob (age 17, Utah) why doesn't saturns rings collapse onto it? why do the rings stay i a ring formation and not collapsein to it? In the same way that planets move around the sun without collapsing on it, the rings are moving under the influence of centripetal (in this case the gravitational force) and centrifugal forces. The balancing of these forces keep the rings spinning around the planets.
February 18, 2009Lily (age 11, Canada) What is the temperature like on Saturn? Temperature at Saturn's cloud tops is -170º C (-274º F).
February 17, 2009John (age 11, ) does saturn have seasons? The cause of the seasons is the tilt of the axis of a planet. Because Saturn has an axis tilt of 26o 42", it should have seasons.
February 6, 2009Salmon (age 12, MS) What would a 100kg rock weigh on Saturn? Saturn's surface gravity is 8.96 m/s2 (0.92 x Earth's), then, a 100 kg object on Earth would weight 92 kg on Saturn.
February 6, 2009lilly (age , C.T) In what year did Galileo discover the rings of Saturn? Like the inner planets and Jupiter, Saturn is clearly visible in the night sky. The ancient Greeks named the planet after the god of agriculture and time. It wasn't until 1655, however, that we knew Saturn had rings. Galileo saw two lumps on either side of Saturn, be he didn't know what they were. The astronomer Christian Huygens later found out they were rings.
January 21, 2009Anastaysia (age 8, Canada) what kinds of cloths do we need to wear to go to Saturn? Saturn atmosphere is not breathable and very cold (temperature at cloud tops is -170ºC or -274ºF). So, among other characteristics, your clothes there should provide you with oxygen and should protect you from the cold.
January 21, 2009David (age 10, New York) How much oxygen does Saturn have? Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids. Saturn's atmosphere is mostly made of the simple molecules of hydrogen and helium. There is a lot of sulfur, which gives Saturn its yellow color. There is also nitrogen and oxygen, which are in the air that we breath every day on Earth. These molecules combine to make clouds of complex molecules, such as clouds of water and smog. The total amount of oxygen detected by the Cassini mission was 4 times the mass of all of the known material in the E ring (estimated to be 300 000 kg).
September 29, 2008Shelbie (age 13, australia, nsw) is it possible to walk on saturn? The Giant planets do not have the same layered structure that the terrestrial planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and they have less solid material. Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids.
September 8, 2008monah (age 18, minisota) what is saturn's weather like? We know about the motions and composition of Saturn's atmosphere. The most important motions in the atmosphere are winds. The major winds in Saturn's atmosphere are the zonal winds which are made of zones and belts. Zones are high pressure systems and belts are low pressure systems. They flow in opposite directions around the entire planet. There are also smaller disturbances or storms within Saturn's zones and belts, similar to but much less powerful than Jupiters Great Red Spot.
August 20, 2008Ariel (age 12, Illinois/ Usa) HI!!!! I was really wondering if you could tell me the temperature at night for saturn please! It is a school project and I really want to get and A++++++++!!!!! From the information collected we can only say that Saturn Temperature at Cloud Tops is -170oC (-274oF).
August 20, 2008Ariel (age 12, Illinois/ Usa) HI!!!! I was really wondering if you could tell me the temperature at night for saturn please! It is a school project and I really want to get and A++++++++!!!!! From the information collected we can only say that Saturn Temperature at Cloud Tops is -170oC (-274oF).
August 14, 2008Alexis (age 10, Arkanasas) What is the Saturn distance from the sun? For Saturn: Minimum Distance from Sun: 1.35 billion km (840 million miles), Maximum Distance from Sun: 1.5 billion km (938 million miles).
June 23, 2008friend (age 11, Florida) When was Saturn first discovered? Like the inner planets and Jupiter, Saturn is clearly visible in the night sky. The ancient Greeks named the planet after the god of agriculture and time. Galileo saw two lumps on either side of Saturn, be he didn't know what they were. It wasn't until 1655 that the astronomer Christian Huygens found out they were rings.
May 22, 2008andre (age , ) Scientists believe that the Sun, the planets, and the rest of the solid bodies in the Solar System formed at the same time from the solar nebula, about 4.54 billion years ago.
May 2, 2008Dasia (age 10, South Carliona) Whatis Saturn atmosphere made of? Saturn's atmosphere is mostly made of the simple molecules hydrogen and helium. There is a lot of sulfur, which gives Saturn its yellow color. There is also nitrogen and oxygen, which are in the air that we breath every day on Earth. These molecules combine to make clouds of complex molecules, such as clouds of water and smog.
April 29, 2008Dasia (age 10, South Carliona) How long does it take to make one rotation in
Saturn?
Saturn's Rotation Period about Axis: 10.67 hrs., Revolution Period about the Sun: 29.5 Earth's years.
March 31, 2008Leanna (age 13, Maryland) How did Saturn get its name and who named it? Our web page Saturn discusses the myths associated with this planet.
March 11, 2008Julie Whipple (age 18, Nasville IL. North America) What is the apperance of Saturn? It is for a school project and I need the answer ASAP please. And Thank You! The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance. Visit our page Saturn Image List for beautiful pictures of Saturn.
March 5, 2008michellia (age 11, ct) what is Saturn atmosphere made of? Saturn's atmosphere is mostly made of the simple molecules hydrogen and helium. There is a lot of sulfur, which gives Saturn its yellow color. There is also nitrogen and oxygen, which are in the air that we breath every day on Earth. These molecules combine to make clouds of complex molecules, such as clouds of water and smog.
March 5, 2008vanessa (age 15, california/santa maria) Why does the planet Saturn have rings? The dust rings are almost certainly composed of debris from Saturn's 31 moons. The icy "classic rings" are less understood.
March 3, 2008brennen (age 10, Grand Rapids,MI) How long is one year on saturn?In earth years. Saturn revolution period around the Sun is 29.5 Earth years.
February 28, 2008caleb (age 9, michigan) what is the diameter of saturn? Saturn's diameter is 119,871 km (74,500 miles), and its mass = 586.5x1024 kilograms (95 x Earth's).
January 25, 2008TT (age 10, usa) what color is saturn? Saturn is yellow. Visit our page Saturn Image List for beautiful pictures of Saturn.
January 10, 2008Judy (age 10, NZ) What is the air like on Saturn? The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance. The atmosphere of Saturn is only a narrow region, compared to the vast interior of Saturn. The three clouddecks of Saturn are to be found mostly low in the atmosphere, while hazes of smog can be found higher up.
December 27, 2007stacy (age 13, canada) whats saturns atmospear??? The dramatic appearance of Saturn stems mainly from the spectacular rings. The atmosphere looks much less dramatic. The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance. When you look closely, however, Saturn's atmosphere is just as fierce as that of Jupiter!
December 27, 2007maria (age 13, wa) could we live in saturn? why? or why not? It would be hard without a solid surface. The Giant planets do not have the same layered structure that the earthlike planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the earthlike planets, and they have much more gas and ice inside.
December 17, 2007camelia (age 13, washington, USA) What is the average density of rocks on Saturn? The Giant planets do not have the same layered structure that the terrestrial planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and they have less solid material. Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids.
August 21, 2007Jake (age 9, New Zealand) Why does Saturn and Jupiter have so many moons? Saturn and Jupiter are giant planets. They are very large and when they formed from a disk of gas and dust there was probably a fair amount of material left over in the disk. This material condensed to form most of the moons. The most external moons are probably captured asteroids.
July 21, 2007anna (age 12, nz) how bigger is saturn than earth Saturn has 9.44 times the diameter of our planet, it is 95 times more massive than Earth, and haas 59 moons plus rings.
July 11, 2007ABHA AND TANIYA (age 15, INDIA) how saturn can hold gases without any solid mass because without gravity gases cannot stay there Saturn's mass is 586.5 x 1024 kilograms, 95 times of Earth's!!!
July 10, 2007Erin (age 10, Virgina) What type of atmsphere does saturn have?? Please answer fast I need the answer as soon as possible! The dramatic appearance of Saturn stems mainly from the spectacular rings. The atmosphere looks much less dramatic. The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance. When you look closely, however, Saturn's atmosphere is just as fierce as that of Jupiter! More information in our webpage An Overview of Saturn's Atmosphere .
July 10, 2007Andrew (age 9, CAlifornia\USA) If I weighed 122lbs. on Earth, what would I weigh on Saturn
?
Gravity on our planet is 9.8 m/s2. Gravity in Saturn is 8.96 m/s2 (0.92 x Earth's). So, your weight will be lower by the same proportion: 122 lbs x 0.92 = 112.2 lbs.
July 10, 2007Alex (age 11, North CarolinaAmerica) How many large groups of rings does Saturn have? The total number of rings of Saturn is seven, and each one was given a letter between A and G for its name. Three of the rings, A, B and C, are visible from Earth with a telescope. More information in our webpage Ring Structure of Saturn.
July 6, 2007arlette (age 13, texas/ usa) does saturn have any light made from its own or from the sun Saturn is a planet, not a star, it does not make its own light, only reflects the light from the Sun.
July 2, 2007sadashiv (age 12, india) does saturn radiations has effect on human beings The close to 90 megawatts of X-ray power from Saturn's equatorial region is not dangerous for humans on Earth, but they could be for human on a space mission near the planet.
June 28, 2007Holly (age 10, England) What is the distance from the Sun to Saturn? Saturn minimum distance from the Sun is 1.35 billion km (840 million miles). Its maximum distance from Sun is 1.5 billion km (938 million miles).
May 5, 2007Caitiy (age 16, fl) How were Saturns rings formed and wen were tey formed? Scientists once thought that the rings were formed at the same time, some 4.8 billion years ago. Under this model, remnants of material within the Roche limit could not condense and would become rings. Recently, scientists have areed that the rings appear to be young, perhaps only hundreds of millions of years old. One theory suggests that a comet too close to Saturn was broken in small pieces, in a similar way to what happened to comet Shoemaker-Levy/9. Another suggets that one of Saturn's moons was struck by an asteroid.
May 1, 2007emaly (age 11, tx) How long does it take for saturn to orbit around the sun Saturn revolution period around the Sun is 29.5 Earth years.
April 13, 2007Burnetta (age 15, michgain) does saturn have any gravity Yes, the gravity on Saturn's surface is 8.96 m/s2 (0.92 x Earth's). More interesting factsn in our web page Saturn Statistics.
April 7, 2007kim (age 10, USA) IS Saturn the sixth planet from the sun or not????? P.S. Please answer me as soon as possible!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, but occupies the 7th orbit! This is because more than 100 000 asteroids lie in a belt between Mars and Jupiter.
April 4, 2007kellie (age 12, taxas) How many rings does sturn have? Saturn's rings are the brightest and therefore more famous than Jupiter's and Uranus' rings. The total number of rings is seven, and each one was given a letter between A and G for its name. Three of the rings, A, B and C, are visible from Earth with a telescope. Please, visit our web page Ring Structure of Saturn for more information.
March 23, 2007Grace (age 11, MI USA) What is Saturn's core's diameter? Saturn's total diameter is 119,871 km (74,500 miles), but its rocky core is about the size of the planet Earth (Earth's diameter = 12 753 km = 7,926 miles).
March 21, 2007Grace (age 8, TN,USA) What is the surface of Saturn like? The evolution of the Giant planets was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and the result is that they have less solid material. Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids.
March 21, 2007LINDA (age 11, ARIZONA) ON SATURN HOW WERE THE RINGS FORMED The origin of the rings of Saturn (and the other jovian planets) is unknown. Though they may have had rings since their formation, the ring systems are not stable and must be regenerated by ongoing processes, perhaps the breakup of larger satellites. The current set of rings may be only a few hundred million years old. (Extracted from Saturn.)
March 20, 2007Denaje (age 12, colorado) how long is a hour on saturn for earth? Saturn's rotation period about its axis (one full day) is 10.67 hrs. Its revolution period around the Sun (a full year) is 29.5 Earth years. If we divide the Saturnian day in 24 Saturnian hours (like we have here), a Saturnian hour will be 2.25 terrestrial hours.
March 5, 2007SAMI (age 10, WI) what is saturn made of Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets.
March 1, 2007ashley (age 12, pennsylvania/united states of america) what is Titan a new planet or something? they talk about it a lot!!! With a diameter of 5 150 km (which is about the distance across the United States) Titan is the largest moon of the planet Saturn, and the second largest moon in our Solar System. Visit our web page Titan for more information.
February 24, 2007Sharon (age 10, Hong Kong) Where is Saturn? I need to do a project about Saturn. Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, between Jupiter and Uranus. A good amount of information about this planet can be found in our web page Saturn.
February 13, 2007Brittany (age 11, tennesse) why is saturn red Actually, Saturn is kind of yellow. The dramatic appearance of Saturn stems mainly from the spectacular rings. The atmosphere looks much less dramatic. The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance. More information can be found at our page Saturn.
January 23, 2007daehon (age 10, TX, UNITED STATES) how many moons dose saturn have Saturn moons are: Titan, Iapetus, Rhea, Tethys, Dione, Enceladus, Mimas, Hyperion, Phoebe, Janus, Epimetheus, Atlas, Helene, Calypso, Telesto, Prometheus, Pandora, Pan, S/2000 S1, S/2000 S2, S/2000 S3, S/2000 S4, S/2000 S5, S/2000 S6, S/2000 S7, S/2000 S8, S/2000 S9, S/2000 S10, S/2000 S11, S/2000 S12, S/2003 S1.
January 23, 2007zakiya (age 8, georgia) What is the color of saturn. The dramatic appearance of Saturn stems mainly from the spectacular rings. The atmosphere looks much less dramatic. The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This is because the composition of Saturn's atmosphere includes more sulfur. This adds to Saturn's overall yellow appearance.
January 22, 2007mandy (age 12, U.S.A) how big is saturn? Saturn´s diameter is 119,871 km (74,500 miles), its mass 586.5x10^24 kilograms (95 x Earth's), and its density: 687 kg/m^3. For more information, please visit our web page Saturn Statistics.
January 21, 2007margaret (age 13, new zealand) why doe saturn only have water, no dry land to land on. i don't get it, because weren't there some space shuttles who went there and landed but how can they if they don't have any land Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids.
January 21, 2007shaymis (age 13, new zealand) what is the closet planet to saturn?
and, what is the distance between that planet?
Jupiter is the closest planet to Saturn. They are about 4.3 AU apart. Note: AU, which stands for "astronomical unit", is a unit for measuring distance. One AU is the average distance from the Sun's center to the Earth's center. It is equal to 149,597,871 km (92,955,807 miles).
January 19, 2007HATICE (age 10, LJUBJANA) how many moons does saturn have? 31 moons have been identified around Saturn. For a full list, please visit our web page Saturn Moons and Rings.
December 27, 2006Ayanna (age 13, New Jersey) What is the distance between saturn and jupiter? The average distance between Jupiter and Sun is 5.20 au, and the average distance between Saturn and Sun is 9.54 au. Therefore the smallest distance from Saturn and Jupiter could be (9.54 - 5.20) au, and the largest distance between them could be (9.54 + 5.20) au. The average distance between the Earth and the Sun is known as one astronomical unit, or au = 149,598,000 km.
December 11, 2006BRADLEY (age 9, TX,USA) WHO DISCOVERED SATURN? Like the inner planets and Jupiter, Saturn is clearly visible in the night sky. The ancient Greeks named the planet after the god of agriculture and time. It wasn't until 1655, however, that we knew Saturn had rings. Galileo saw two lumps on either side of Saturn, be he didn't know what they were. The astronomer Christian Huygens later found out they were rings. For more information about this planet, please visit our page Saturn.
December 11, 2006misty (age 11, canada) how far is saturn from earth? We should establish first a frame to determine the average distance between them. Let’s assume for this calculation that Saturn and Earth are aligned with the Sun, and use their average distance to the Sun to determine the average distance between them: Saturn average distance to the Sun: 1.43 billion km Earth average distance to the Sun: 149.0 million km Difference (average distance between the two planets): 1.28 billion km.
December 11, 2006Mariah (age 10, Az) How did Jupiter and Saturn get its rings? Planetary rings are probably created when two small moons collide or when one gets too close to its planet and the gravitational tidal forces shred it apart. The resulting fragments extend into concentric orbits and collision with each other continuously, eventually forming a set of rings.
December 11, 2006OLivia (age 12, Australia) What is the Great White Spot on Saturn? Is it safe to observe it from a distance in a space shuttle (i am asking this from a literal sense point of of view)? The Great White Spot on Saturn is the name given to periodic storms that are large enough to be visible by telescope from Earth by their characteristic white appearance. The spots can be several thousands of kilometers wide.
December 9, 2006Adrianna (age 14, Georgia) What is the circumference of Jupiter and Saturn? Jupiter’s diameter is 142 800 km (88,736 miles) and for Saturn it is 119 871 km (74,500 miles).
December 6, 2006brittany (age 10, virginia) What is the temperature both "day" and "night" on Saturn? The temperature at Saturn’s cloud tops is -170 C (-274 F)
December 1, 2006Jacob (age 13, North Carolina, USA) What state of matter is Saturn in? The evolution of the Giant planets was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and the result is that they have less solid material. Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids.
November 12, 2006Kristal (age 10, New York) Is Saturn a solid or a gas? Saturn's composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, but there is also ice of ammonia, ice of methane and water ice. Under the cloud layers, when the pressure of the interior becomes high enough, the hydrogen of which Saturn is made changes to liquid hydrogen, which gradually changes further to liquid metallic hydrogen. For more information visit this page
September 12, 2002 Kevin (age 14, Florida) Why did the Romans name Saturn after their god of farming? Saturn was much more than the god of farming. See our mythology of Saturn page.

June 5, 2002 Stacey (age 14, Manitoba, Canada) If Martian describes the planet Mars, what words describe the planets Venus and Saturn? Venusian and Saturnian! As in a Venusian mission (a mission to Venus) and Saturnian rings (the rings of Saturn)...
April 23, 2001 Alex (11, Kansas, USA)
Tim (12, Arizona, USA)
How old is Saturn and when was it first discovered in our Solar System? It is thought that our solar system (and Saturn too) is 4,600 million years old! Saturn has always been visible in the night skies, so we can't be sure of the first person to have seen it. We do know the ancient Greeks named the planet after the god of agriculture and time. And we know Galileo was the first to discover Saturn's rings in 1655.
June 7, 1999 Nichole (age 14, Idaho) Will the Y2K computer bug have any effect on the NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn? NASA is very carefully checking all their computers, hardware and software, to be absolutely sure nothing will go wrong as the new year begins.
June 1, 2000 Jennupher (age 13, Michigan, USA) What is Saturn's gravitational pull?

Gravity is usually given in units of acceleration. Saturn's gravitational pull is 1.2 times that of Earth's. Or, in simpler terms, 11.76 meters per second squared.

May 7, 1999 Michelle (age 14, Texas, USA) Could you please help me find the surface area of Saturn? The surface area of Saturn is 45 billion square kilometers!!! That makes Earth look like a baby!
February 6, 1999 Jackie (age 11, New York, USA) What is Titan's distance from the sun and where is it located ? Titan is one of Saturn's moons. Saturn is about 1,429,400,000 km from the Sun.
February 4, 1999 T.B. (age 59, England)
Matt (age 8)
What is the location of Saturn? I wish to view it through my telescope.
Can we see Andromeda galaxy from Ohio?
This site will let you view and find the objects in your sky wherever you are.
November 12, 1998 Ryan (age 8, Illinois, USA) What color rings does Saturn have? Saturn's rings are mainly composed of icy particles, so they look a lot like snowballs. The reason they are so brightly visible is that they reflect the light from the sun, just like ice.
August 11, 1998 Robert (Age 23, Michigan, USA) What is the planet I see by the Moon? Who can I write to for charts on the solar system for night viewing with a small telescope with limited power. I am interested at knowing where the planets are and how to find them. The planet Saturn can be seen to the left of the Moon. It looks like a bright golden star in the night sky.

My favorite on-line location for skywatching is StarDate Online. They give really practical tips for finding planets, constellations and specific stars. They also have a magazine and several hardcopy guides you can buy that would help you with your pursuit. Good luck!

April 17, 1998 Beth (age 15, Florida, U.S.A.) A day on Mercury is 176 Earth days, and a year on Mercury is 88 Earth days. How is a that??? The reason is simply that Mercury sloooowwwwlllyyyy turns. Over the time Mercury has been around the Sun, it has evolved into this rhythm with the Sun.
Another example sort-of like this is Pluto orbits the Sun EXACTLY 2 times for every 3 times Neptune does. They have reached a 'harmony' of orbits.
What happens in bad harmonies? Prometheus, a Saturn moon in between 2 rings, found out the hard way. It is now in a different orbit than it was a few years ago. Prometheus got too close to the ring material and the collision moved the moon to an orbit 19 degrees off its orbit from before.
March 5, 1998 Griff (age 10, Wisconsin, USA) Why does Saturn's moon Mimas look like STAR WAR's Death Star? You're right! Saturn's moon Mimas and the Death Star each have one similar huge crater. However, Star Wars came out before astromers had ever seen Mimas up close, so it must be just a coincede nce.
March 3, 1998 Jan What color is the sky from Saturn's Titan? Since the atmosphere on Titan is so thick, the sky could not be seen at all. The air there is very similar to the smog over large cities. Walking around on Titan would be like walking in a very dense fog, very dark and damp.
February 17, 1998 Mitchell (age 5, Michigan, USA)
Stephen (age 9, Leicester, UK)
Why does Saturn have rings?
Why do some planets have rings around them? Why do some planets have more moons than others?
Scientists don't yet know the full and complete answers to those questions. It seems that when planets form, some material around the bigger planets doesn't coalesce into the planet itself, but forms a ring. This is a natural and common occurrence in the space sciences! It's kind of like a star which collapses when it is forming...the planets form out of the leftover disc of material from the star collapsing.

As parti cles of the ring/disc system bump into each other and stick to each other, moons may form out of the ring system. The rings of the outer planets are made of little icy grains. The terrestrial planets don't have icy rings or icy moons but do have rocky mo ons probably because there was not a whole lot of ice surrounding planets that close to the Sun.

January 29, 1998 --- (age 8, Florida, USA) Why is Saturn so colorful? Because Saturn is so far from the Sun, the temperature in its atmosphere is very cold. This has caused the atmospheric gases (such as ammonia and methane) to freeze and become crystals. These frozen solid crystals form Saturn's lovely bands of white, beige, and gold.
January 6, 1998 Lynnae (age 13, Michigan, USA) How far away from Earth is the second largest Moon in our solar system, Titan? Titan ranges from 1,281,021,850 - 1,278,578,150 kilometers away from Earth. So Titan is always about a billion kilometers away from the Earth. That's why it will take even the Cassini probe 7 years to reach Saturn and its moons.
December 31, 1997 Victor (age 14, Oregon, USA) What does Saturn look like from the Hubble?
December 31, 1997 Hannah (age 10, Minnesota, USA) How many rings does Saturn have? There are four main ring groups and three fainter, narrower ring groups separated by gaps called divisions. Within these seven ring groups are believed to be thousands of smaller, more slender rings or ringlets.
December 30, 1997 J. (age 13, South Carolina, USA)

Victor (age 14, Oregon, USA)

How hot can Saturn get? Would it be possible for human life to live on it at all in the future? Does it have any lakes, rivers, mountains,etc.? How hot Saturn gets depends upon where you are in the planet. The atmosphere has regions which are quite comfortable, say room temperature, but the interior can be tens of thousands of degrees. Humans may be able to live in the atmosphere, but it wou ld be a very big engineering task. Maybe someone will think of a way to do it, like by having a big globe suspended in the air. Saturn has no solid surface, so there are no lakes, rivers or mountains.


Last modified October 14, 2003 by Jennifer Bergman.

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